Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

December 21, 2013

Elf on the Shelf backlash

Tooth Fairy is walk in park over Elf on the Shelf

(Continued)

Kim Boerman in Charleston, S.C., has pulled hard elf duty with her 12-year-old daughter. There was the time it barely escaped their German shepherd, Myka, and another time it fell from the chandelier during dinner as it hung upside down.

She procured a doctor's prescription that states: "To Elf, address North Pole. Doctors orders: Take it easy, don't move around a lot ... rest!" Boerman and her husband even threw in a head bandage for the little guy before planting him under their Christmas tree with a toy ambulance for the duration.

Kerby said she had tons on her holiday to-do list before adding the elf, but mishaps aside, "it's quite fun for our little girl and a nice tradition."

The Elf on the Shelf — you get to name it — was born in 2005 as a self-published labor of love from Carol Aebersold and daughters Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, co-founders of Creatively Classic Activities and Books. The company is dedicated to promoting and distributing the storybook and elf, recently launching its first sequel, a birthday elf and book. A dollar for every birthday kit sold goes to a charity working to provide clean drinking water in more than 20 countries.

"Every year we continue to be amazed and blessed with the fan response," Aebersold said in a statement, put out after their creation recently claimed the No. 1 spot on USA Today's best-seller list for the first time.

Other companies have gotten in on the game, including the makers of "Maccabee on the Mantel," which includes a snuggly plush soldier for Hanukkah. And Aebersold's company now offers games, a movie, elf couture, an elf registry online and elf adoptions in select locations around the country.

Meaghan B. Murphy isn't ho-ho-hoing. As deputy editor of SELF magazine, the busy and tired mom of three kids — ages 3, 20 months and 4 months — is on elf duty with her husband.

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